Catholic schools in the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese celebrating HSC success

Higher School Certificate results released today reveal that students attending Catholic schools across the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle have achieved tremendous success in 2020. 

Josie Witherdin, a graduate of St Joseph's College, Lochinvar is one of the Diocese's highest achievers receiving an ATAR of 99.30.

Josie is one of the state's top 20 achievers in Advanced Mathematics and, is also featured on the NSW Distinguished Merit List as an All-Round Achiever, receiving a Band 6 in all courses.

"I went quite well in my trials, but my results today were better than I expected," Josie said.

The good news kept coming for the bright teen, who after receiving her ATAR was contacted by the University of New South Wales (UNSW), offering her a AAA scholarship to study a Bachelor of Art and International Studies.

While Josie is likely to accept UNSW's offer, she intends to defer university for a year, and spend 2020 in paid employment and travelling domestically.

Josie was keen to point out the support she had received from her school community throughout the year, saying that the staff at St Joseph's had provided great encouragement with her studies, as well as personal backing when her father passed away.

Meanwhile, Max Moser, a graduate of St Francis Xavier's College in Hamilton, was quietly confident that he would achieve his ATAR target 98.00. So, when he received an ATAR of 98.75 he was chuffed, with it now very likely he will have the marks to study his desired course, actuary, at Macquarie University in Sydney.

"I am pretty happy, it was a tough a year, but all the hard work paid off," Max said.

Like Josie, Max also said he had great teachers who helped him to achieve such great results, particularly his English teacher, Mrs Millen and Physics teacher, Mr Wilkinson.

Michelle Cornelia who graduated from All Saints College in Maitland received an ATAR of 98.80 and has already accepted an offer to study Biomedical Science at the University of Newcastle next year.

"The results are still sinking in," Michelle said, "I was adamant I wanted to study as hard as I could throughout the year, so I was quite stressed. I thought I did okay in the exams, but my results today were far better than I expected."

The Director of Catholic Schools, Gerard Mowbray, says he is excited by the promising results achieved by students at all school across the Diocese, which on the whole show an improvement from the 2019 outcomes.

"We established clear improvement targets, which today our schools are celebrating," Mr Mowbray said.

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Lizzie Snedden Image
Lizzie Snedden

Lizzie is Team Leader Content for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.